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First Month

Pregnancy: Month-by-Month Pregnancy Guide - First Month (4 weeks)

» » Conception
If a sperm cell meets and penetrates an egg, it will fertilize it.  This is known as conception. At this moment, the genetic makeup is complete, including the sex of the infant. Within about
three days after conception, the fertilized egg, which is dividing rapidly into many cells, passes through the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it attaches to the uterine wall. The placenta, which will nourish the baby, also begins to form.

» » Mother:

If you've been trying for a baby, a missed period is a good sign you're on the right track. Other indications of pregnancy include:

» nausea, and not just in the morning
» a sudden aversion to familiar foods like coffee or alcohol
» cravings for certain foods
» a metallic taste in your mouth
» tender breasts
» constant trips to the loo
» fatigue
» faintness or dizziness
» an increase in vaginal discharge
» moodiness
If you suspect you're pregnant, you can try a home pregnancy test (about 95% accurate) or make an appointment with your doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

1. conception the laborious journey of the sperm
2. conception fertilization the sperm penetrates the egg
3. conception human sperm fertilizing ovum
4. conception the cells begin to divide
5. conception implantation
Photo: Fetal Development at 4 Weeks

» » Baby:

At this point of development the structures that eventually form the face and neck are becoming evident.  The heart and blood vessels continue to develop. And the lungs, stomach, and liver start to develop.  A home pregnancy test is now positive.

By the end of the first month, your unborn baby is technically known as an embryo. He has a heart, and a heart beat can already be detected. Finger-shaped growths called chorionic villi grow into the uterine wall to anchor the embryo, and the umbilical cord is beginning to form. Your baby is about the size of a pea!

The first weeks are the most vulnerable for an unborn baby, so it's a good time to assess your lifestyle. Stop smoking and cut down on alcohol, check your work environment for hazardous conditions, and take care when handling pets to avoid contracting toxoplasmosis.